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Insect Mol Biol. 2016 Aug;25(4):385-400. doi: 10.1111/imb.12234. Epub 2016 Apr 21.

Application of a dense genetic map for assessment of genomic responses to selection and inbreeding in Heliothis virescens.

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Department of Entomology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA.
Department of Biological Sciences, Program in Genetics, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA.


Adaptation of pest species to laboratory conditions and selection for resistance to toxins in the laboratory are expected to cause inbreeding and genetic bottlenecks that reduce genetic variation. Heliothis virescens, a major cotton pest, has been colonized in the laboratory many times, and a few laboratory colonies have been selected for Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) resistance. We developed 350-bp double-digest restriction-site associated DNA-sequencing (ddRAD-seq) molecular markers to examine and compare changes in genetic variation associated with laboratory adaptation, artificial selection and inbreeding in this nonmodel insect species. We found that allelic and nucleotide diversity declined dramatically in laboratory-reared H. virescens as compared with field-collected populations. The declines were primarily a result of the loss of low frequency alleles present in field-collected H. virescens. A further, albeit modest decline in genetic diversity was observed in a Bt-selected population. The greatest decline was seen in H. virescens that were sib-mated for 10 generations, in which more than 80% of loci were fixed for a single allele. To determine which regions of the genome were resistant to fixation in our sib-mated line, we generated a dense intraspecific linkage map containing three PCR-based and 659 ddRAD-seq markers. Markers that retained polymorphism were observed in small clusters spread over multiple linkage groups, but this clustering was not statistically significant. Overall, we have confirmed and extended the general expectations for reduced genetic diversity in laboratory colonies, provided tools for further genomic analyses and produced highly homozygous genomic DNA for future whole genome sequencing of H. virescens.


Heliothis virescens; colonization; ddRAD-seq; genetic variation; inbreeding; linkage map

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